Education: the money-hungry system

Kaylee Johnston
As college tuition rates go up, so does student debt.

As college tuition rates go up, so does student debt.

Although education in the United States is only compulsory up until a minimum of age 16, it is becoming more apparent that schooling through college is the more accurate requirement.

With jobs often only opening up to those with a college degree, students have no choice but to drown in student debt from various loans and other supplemental purchases that accompany the “college experience.”

The amount of outstanding student debt has risen from less than $250 billion to about $1 trillion, according to the Huffington Post.

With such a high amount of debt appearing hand-in-hand with a college diploma, it almost seems that not going to college would make life easier. Starting work instead of going to school would allow for saving money and not falling into debt with student loans, right?

Well, unfortunately that isn’t the case as it is becoming less likely that those without a college degree even get hired for simplistic, minimum-wage jobs.

A college diploma, or even just some amount of college education is becoming a necessity in acquiring jobs. The unemployment rate of those who have a high school diploma versus those who have a college degree is a 2.1 percent difference according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the requirement for a job is a college degree, landing a student in debt before they can even get a job seems like quite the Catch-22.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the past 20 years, tuition fees for four-years have gone up from about $3,500 to about $22,000, and tuition fees for two-years have gone up from about $2,200 to about $9,000. The increase in tuition, appearing to be an average of an 8 percent increase per year according to, will only continue to drive student loan debt farther into the ground.

College isn’t simply a matter of tuition anymore, though. Books. Computer programs. Connect links. College is becoming the voiceover from an infommercial: “But wait, there’s more!”

Half of the items purchased often become a waste of money rather than a gain in education. Handing out $200 for that math book seemed like a good idea until you see it building dust on your desk from the rare use of it.

The building up of supplemental costs on top of already expensive tuition fees for two-years and four-years isn’t going away anytime soon, and students are taking the hits from the loans.

Considering education is becoming a more technology-based system, textbooks and other supplemental materials should only be required in an online format. Although this would still cost money, online purchases are often less costly.